Friday, July 26, 2013
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Ariel Castro has told a judge in Cleveland that he understands he will never get out of prison.
Castro is pleading guilty today to charges that he imprisoned three women in his home, subjecting them to a decade of rapes and beatings. Under the plea deal, he will avoid the death penalty.
Castro told the judge that he knew ever since his arrest that he was "going to get the book thrown" at him.
He was far more interactive during today's court session than in previous ones, when he mostly kept his head down and his eyes closed.
He told the judge he was addicted to pornography, had a "sexual problem" and had been a sexual abuse victim himself long ago.
Today's plea deal comes more than a month after a statement issued on behalf of the three women, in which they said they were "hopeful for a just and prompt resolution."
Castro had been scheduled for trial next month on a 977-count indictment. He is pleading guilty today to 937 counts.
The indictment included two counts of aggravated murder, related to accusations that he punched and starved one woman until she miscarried. There were also hundreds of counts of kidnapping and rape.
(Copyright 2013, The Associated Press)